Rain gutter maintenance is among the most crucial house maintenance tasks to perform on the exterior of the property of yours. Neglecting gutter maintenance might lead to costly repairs and damage of the soffit, fascia, house wall (exterior and interior), roof decking surfaces, and additional structures surrounding the property of yours.
Rain gutters have to be cleaned more frequently if there are trees surrounding the house of yours or if there are trees in the near neighborhood. During the fall, when all those trees start shedding the leaves of theirs, you may need to have the gutters cleaned a few times.
Remember to perform your final gutter and downspout maintenance / check up at the end of the fall, when all tree leaves have disappeared. The safest method to find out how your gutters are performing is to go outside during the rain and check your downspouts.
If there is very little / no water discharging from them, or even water is overflowing the gutter edges, you’ve several likely problems:
The gutter or the downspout itself is clogged – requires cleaning
The gutter has a negative slope – away from the downspout, and must be repositioned to discharge water properly (1/4″ slope per every ten liner feet of the gutter will do)
Section of the gutter is sagging – that happens occasionally as a result of loose nails / screws / brackets holding the gutter in place (separating from fascia board), contamination (weight of dirt, leafs and debris accumulated along the rain gutter) – requires cleaning and / or even just repositioning
In case you’ve a lot of water discharging from your downspout and still have an overflowing gutter, you may have to replace your gutter system (or at minimum the downspouts) with a larger one To clean a lightly contaminated gutter, you can use a garden hose and flush every one of the deposits towards the downspout, in that case pick up anything that didn’t make its way down in the downspout attachment area.
It may perhaps be possible to decontaminate the gutter from the soil by using a garden hose attachment / extension. If you’ve some kind of the gutter leaf guards installed, you will have to eliminate them first.
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But, this particular procedure won’t work on years of deposits inside the gutter, and you’ll need to pick up all the decomposed leaves and debris by hand.
Always use utility gloves to protect your hands from gutters sharp edges and joint screws. Safety glasses may also be recommended.
For the clogged downspout, try to utilize your garden hose – just ensure the bottom of the downspout is free and open of debris before you stick the hose into the top opening. Filling a clogged downspout with water will put a great deal of anxiety on all joints and downspout brackets – it may cause your whole downspout assembly to collapse.
Flushing the gutter or even downspout with a garden hose while standing on top of the ladder is hazardous. Water filled garden hose is heavy and may possibly pull you down from the ladder – ideally, it must be secured / anchored above the area you’re working on / not to the ladder!
You can find different tools in the marketplace and some of them might speed-up your gutter maintenance process, but the old-fashioned way (100 % manual) will furnish you with by far the most satisfaction. 🙂
Rain Gutter Seams
Precisely what it takes to correct the leaking gutter seam is a few minutes of your time – to clean this leaking area from any contamination, and apply Dap 27062 Butyl-Flex Gutter and Flashing Caulk, or perhaps a similar sealant designed for that purpose.
After it stops raining, look at the gutter corners, around the downspout attachment area, and any other seams. Based on the installation, a leaking seam may or even may not trigger some problems. Surface beneath the gutter protected by a high quality paint (no matter how wonderful it’s, it won’t last forever), or perhaps aluminum capping will survive that leak.
You have to look for damage in the area straight next and below the leaking seam, there are a rotten soffit / fascia board, deteriorating brick or mortar, siding was damaged by water or maybe moisture / water penetrating the interior of the house.
In case you detect some stains underneath the gutter, I’d also suggest to check the roof surface directly above this specific place – it could be already damaged.
Gutters on taller houses, with roofs above the tree line, might only require cleaning annually (or every couple of years), usually in the downspout attachment area. Nonetheless, the seams of theirs might break and start leaking periodically too.
It all depends on the amount of corrosion – seeing slightly corroded bottom might be an indicator of a heavily corroded interior, and in that case the gutter or perhaps its section would almost certainly require replacement. Nonetheless, if you’re creative… roofing cement, duct tape, electrical tape, silicon, aluminum foil, and many other materials can be used. It might not look beautiful but sometimes it works.If the metal gutter material feels solid, remove as much rust as you can with a steel wool, treat the area with a liquid rust remover, apply the rust converter and than mach the gutter color with some corrosion resistant paint.
Rain Gutter Guards / Screens gutter guards and Screens help to lower the degree of maintenance the gutters require. There are numerous different types of gutter guards, so do a little research before money is spent by you. I personally recommend plastic guards, which I installed on my very own gutters a few years ago.
They have round holes on the surface and a fine screen / micro mash on top of it. This prevents debris falling off the trees from contaminating the gutter. Anything that accumulates on top of the cover is going to be eventually washed off by the rain or perhaps blown off the surface with the wind.
There’s another release of this guard without the screen, it’s slightly cheaper but allows smaller leaves and debris to penetrate and eventually clog the gutter.
Another point to look at is the gutter guard color – this specific type comes in white and brown, at minimum in my local home improvement stores.
Why is the gutter screen / guard color important – in case your roof receives a lot of sun, brown gutter guards made out of plastic will take in a lot of heat and start bending and changing its dimensions over time. This’s what happened on my roof and resulted in significant gaps between individual sections… and more maintenance.
So, a white gutter guard (plastic) is going to perform much better, and in case you can get an equivalent product in long sections to avoid seams, the gutters of yours will be nearly maintenance free.
Rain Gutter Strainers Maintenance
Gutter strainers are installed inside or perhaps on top of the gutter outlet, in many instances partially inserted into the downspout. They prevent leafs and debris from clogging your downspouts and work fine as long as you maintain them on regular basis. Leafs and debris that start accumulating around the strainer will eventually block it totally, and result in the gutter to overflow.
I highly recommend using rain gutter strainer if your downspout discharges into an underground drain and if you can find any trees in the vicinity of your property – make certain you clean it periodically!
Nonetheless, in case you have no trees at / and / or perhaps around your property, the rain gutter strainer just isn’t needed. Small debris carried by wind will simply flow down the downspout without accumulating around the strainer, and saving you a bit of rain gutter maintenance time.